8 Books to Inspire Creativity

Presents Creative Art BooksPart of being creative is absorbing the best of the world around you and discovering how you’ll radiate it back out.

Here are some of the best books that have inspired me and my kids in such a way. I hope they’ll fill you to overflowing with imaginative possibilities.

BONUS IDEA: Sure, it’s nice to give gifts at the holidays, but why not surprise your favorite creative-minded friend or family member with one of these? Then, when they become the next Virginia Woolf or Jackson Pullock, maybe they’ll set aside a special autographed work for you. 🙂

8 Books to Inspire Creativity

kids book art creativity

1. What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom

  • For: Anyone with a dream.
  • Why: To encourage sticking it out through the inevitable ups and downs of making a dream a reality.

books art creativity

2. Make a World by Ed Emberley

  • For: Anyone experimenting with or intimidated by art.
  • Why: To help break down art into fun, confidence-boosting steps. And, honestly, who doesn’t want to make up their own world?!

Beautiful Oops

3. Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg

  • For: Anyone worried about messing up.
  • Why: To demonstrate the need to make mistakes—and how fun and freeing it can be.

Art and Max

4. Art & Max by David Wiesner

  • For: Kids just starting to learn about art.
  • Why: To champion the ideas of trying, trying again, and doing your own thing.

art color book press here

5. Mix It Up by Herve Tullet

  • For: Young kids learning about colors.
  • Why: To teach color mixing in an entertaining, interactive way (from the author of the equally amazing Press Here).

Harold and the Purple Crayon

6. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

  • For: Any kid who’s ever said, “I’m bored.”
  • Why: To encourage creative brainstorming and imagination. It’s a classic for a reason.

art creativity book inspiration

7. Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith (or really anything by Keri Smith)

  • For: Anyone who could benefit from a little no-pressure creative noodling.
  • Why: To spark creativity, encourage thinking outside of the box, and make every day more fun!

Joseph Campbell book storytelling

8. The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

  • For: Adults curious about the soul of a good story.
  • Why: To dig into the formula behind the world’s best creative tales—because strategy and history don’t preclude art.

Have your own favorite creativity books? Please share them in the comments below.

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